Methe v. Amazon.com.dedc, LLC et al

Southern District of Ohio, ohsd-1:2017-cv-00749

COMPLAINT with JURY DEMAND against All Plaintiffs, filed by Brian Methe.

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Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 1 of 49 PAGEID #: 1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO WESTERN DIVISION (CINCINNATI) BRIAN METHE Case No. 1:17-cv-749 6110 Elder Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45227 Plaintiff, COMPLAINT vs. AMAZON.COM.DEDC, LLC 535 Terry Avenue N Seattle, Washington 98109 Also Serve: Corporation Service Company 50 West Broad Street, Suite 1330 Columbus, Ohio 43215 And APPLE COMPUTER INC. 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, California 95014 Also Serve: CT Corporation System 4400 Eastern Commons Way, Suite 125 Columbus, Ohio 43219 And FRUIT OF THE LOOM LICENSING, INC. 1 Fruit of the Loom Drive Bowling Green, KY 42103 Also Serve: Corporation Service Company 421 West Main Street Frankfort, KY 40601 02922587-2 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 2 of 49 PAGEID #: 2 And WEBINTELLICS, INC. 1406 Waterford Road Yardley, Pennsylvania 19067-5424 Also Serve: Max Chernyshov 1406 Waterford Road Yardley, Pennsylvania 19067-5424 And RIPT APPAREL, LLC 1641 W Carroll Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60612 Also Serve: Paul A. Friemel 746 N. Elizabeth 1 Chicago, Illinois 60642 And REDBUBBLE INC. 633 Howard Street San Francisco, California 94105 Also Serve: Corina N. Davis 633 Howard Street San Francisco, California 94105 And OOSHIRTS INC. 41454 Christy Street Fremont, California 94538-5105 02922587-2 2 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 3 of 49 PAGEID #: 3 Also Serve: Raymond Lei 10035 Byrne Avenue Cupertino, California 95014 And JOHN DOES Numbers 1 through 99 Defendants. INTRODUCTION 1. This is a Complaint for injunctive relief and for civil damages. The Complaint herein states a claim for Copyright Infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. by and through Defendants' unlawful copying, reproduction, manufacture, distribution, sale and use of Plaintiff's copyrighted material in Defendants' products which they market and sell to the public. PARTIES 2. Plaintiff Brian Methe is an individual and natural person who resides in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. 3. Defendant Amazon.com.dedc, LLC is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Delaware and doing business in Hamilton County, Ohio. 4. Defendant Apple Computer Inc. is a corporation incorporated in the State of California and doing business in Hamilton County, Ohio. 5. Defendant Fruit of the Loom Licensing, Inc. is a corporation incorporated in the State of New York and doing business in Hamilton County, Ohio. 6. Defendant Webintellics, Inc. is a corporation incorporated in the State of New Jersey and doing business in Hamilton County, Ohio. 02922587-2 3 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 4 of 49 PAGEID #: 4 7. Defendant RIPT Apparel, LLC is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Iowa and doing business in Hamilton County, Ohio. 8. Defendant Redbubble Inc. is a corporation incorporated in the State of Delaware and doing business in Hamilton County, Ohio. 9. Defendant ooShirts Inc. is a corporation incorporated in the State of California and doing business in Hamilton County, Ohio under the name "teechip.com." 10. Defendants John Does Numbers 1 through 99 are fictitious names for Defendant persons or business entities which have reproduced, manufactured, imported, copied, distributed, displayed and sold the infringing goods, merchandise and materials which are the subject of the Complaint herein for or on behalf of the Defendants named at numerical paragraphs 3 through 9 above, or in concert or privity with them, including said Defendants' manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors, exhibitors, and vendors, and for Defendant persons, including corporate officers, directors, managers, operators, representatives, and agents, or business entities having the right to supervise the infringing activities and a financial interest therein. The true identities of these Defendants are yet unknown to Plaintiff. 11. At all times relevant herein, Defendants were variously engaged in the business of manufacturing, publishing, marketing, promoting, distributing, displaying, and selling, among other things, goods, merchandise, and materials embodying and otherwise incorporating the infringing work which is the subject of this lawsuit. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 12. This Court has jurisdiction over this controversy pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1338 and 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. as the Complaint alleges a violation of federal Copyright Law. 02922587-2 4 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 5 of 49 PAGEID #: 5 13. Venue in the Southern District of Ohio is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2) and (3), because a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim herein took place within the Southern District of Ohio, a fact sufficient to confer jurisdiction under Ohio's Long-Arm Statute, ORC 2307.382. Defendants transact business in Ohio and/or willfully infringed Plaintiff's copyright, knowing Plaintiff resided within Ohio. FACTUAL BACKGROUND 14. At all times relevant herein, Plaintiff was variously engaged in the business of creating, manufacturing, marketing, distributing, and selling works of visual art. 15. Prior to October 15, 2013, Plaintiff created an original pictorial and/or graphic work of authorship, titled "Duder of Thrones" which is a two dimensional work of visual art depicting a character resembling "The Dude" from "The Big Lebowski" sitting on a throne of bowling pins (Hereafter referred to as "Plaintiff's Work"). 16. A true and accurate copy of Plaintiff's Work is attached hereto as Exhibit "A." 17. Plaintiff's Work was first published in or around October 15, 2013. Plaintiff published Plaintiff's Work in the larger work "Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art 2" (Hereafter referred to as "Plaintiff's Collection"). 18. Plaintiff's Work and Plaintiff's Collection have been available for sale and/or viewing on Plaintiff's website and other internet locations since October 15, 2013. 19. Defendants have been copying, reproducing, manufacturing, importing, distributing, displaying, marketing and/or selling merchandise depicting substantially similar pictorial and/or graphic designs to the protected Plaintiff's Work referenced above, printouts of which are incorporated herein by reference as Exhibit "B." (The items in Exhibit "B" are referenced collectively herein as the "Infringing Merchandise.") 02922587-2 5 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 6 of 49 PAGEID #: 6 20. Plaintiff has been and is the author and sole proprietor of all right, title, and interest, including copyright, in and to Plaintiff's Work. 21. On August 12, 2016, Plaintiff registered his copyright of Plaintiff's Work and Plaintiff's Collection. The Registration number is VA 2-016-306. A copy of the Registration Certificate is attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference as Exhibit "C." 22. Defendants individually, or by and through their agents, employees, and representative, with notice of Plaintiff's right, title, and interest in and to Plaintiff's Work, and without Plaintiff's authorization, have used Plaintiff's Work to manufacture, reproduce, copy, publish, display, distribute, transmit, sell, and otherwise market their Infringing Merchandise. 23. Upon information and belief, Defendants willfully and deliberately infringed said Plaintiff's copyright by copying Plaintiff's Work, and manufacturing, reproducing, importing, publishing, displaying, distributing, transmitting, selling, or otherwise placing on the market Defendants' Infringing Merchandise and, thus, using Plaintiff's Work without authorization, all to Plaintiff's detriment. 24. Upon information and belief, Defendants have manufactured, reproduced, imported, published, displayed, distributed, transmitted, marketed, promoted, and sold the Infringing Merchandise and will, unless restrained, continue to do so in the future. 25. Defendants' infringement of Plaintiff's copyright has caused and will continue to cause immediate and irreparable harm to Plaintiff unless enjoined by this Court. COUNT I: COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT 26. Plaintiff has been and is the sole proprietor of all right, title and interest in and to Plaintiff's Work. 02922587-2 6 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 7 of 49 PAGEID #: 7 27. Plaintiff's Work is an original work of authorship, and Plaintiff has the exclusive right to reproduce, create derivative works, sell, and display Plaintiff's Work. 28. Defendants individually, or by and through their agents, employees and representatives, with notice of Plaintiff's right, title and interest in and to Plaintiff's Work, and without Plaintiff's authorization, have manufactured, reproduced, created derivative works from, copied, published, displayed, distributed, transmitted, imported, exported, and sold Plaintiff's Work. 29. The acts of Defendants constitute infringement of Plaintiff's registered copyright and exclusive right under copyright in violation of 17 USC § 106 and § 501. 30. Plaintiff was injured as a result of Defendants' actions and suffered actual damages as a result of Defendants' actions. 31. Upon information and belief, Defendants willfully and deliberately infringed Plaintiff's copyright by copying Plaintiff's Work, and manufacturing, reproducing, importing, publishing, displaying, distributing, transmitting, selling or otherwise placing on the market Defendants' Infringing Merchandise and, thus, using Plaintiff's Work without authorization, all to Plaintiff's detriment. 32. Plaintiff was injured as a result of Defendants' actions and is entitled to statutory damages under 17 USC § 504(c)(1) at Plaintiff's election. 33. Plaintiff was injured as a result of the Defendants' willful and deliberate actions and is therefore entitled to increased statutory damages under 17 USC § 504(c)(2). 34. Plaintiff is further entitled to payment of attorney's fees and costs pursuant to 17 USC § 505. 02922587-2 7 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 8 of 49 PAGEID #: 8 35. Defendants' infringement of Plaintiff's copyright has caused and will continue to cause immediate and irreparable harm to Plaintiff unless enjoined by this Court. JURY DEMAND 36. Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury of all issues triable by jury. PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests the following relief: A. A declaration from this Court that Defendants infringed Plaintiff's copyright; B. A temporary restraining order and permanent injunction restraining Defendants, their agents, servants, employees, successors, assigns, and all others in concert or privity with them from infringing Plaintiff's Work, and from manufacturing, reproducing, importing, publishing, displaying, distributing, transmitting, selling, or otherwise placing on the market Defendants' Infringing Merchandise and, thus, using Plaintiff's copyrighted Work without authorization; C. That Defendants be required to account to Plaintiff for Defendants' profits and the actual damages suffered by Plaintiff as a result of Defendants' infringement; D. That Defendants be ordered to surrender to Plaintiff all property, tangible and intangible including, but not limited to all goods, merchandise and materials which infringe upon Plaintiff's copyrighted Works and all tooling, templates, patterns, or other means and media used by Defendants to copy, manufacture, reproduce, publish, display, distribute, transmit, market, promote, and sell Defendants' Infringing Merchandise; E. That Plaintiff be awarded actual damages and profits or statutory damages against Defendants, subject to Plaintiff's election with respect thereto; 02922587-2 8 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 9 of 49 PAGEID #: 9 F. That Defendants be compelled to pay Plaintiff's attorney fees and costs in connection with this action pursuant to 17 USC § 505; G. Leave to amend his Complaint to add additional parties as their identities are revealed; and H. For all other and further relief to which Plaintiff may otherwise be entitled. Respectfully submitted, /s/ Michael A. Galasso Michael A. Galasso (0072470) Robbins, Kelly, Patterson & Tucker, LPA 7 West Seventh Street, Suite 1400 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2417 (513) 721-3330 | (513) 721-5001 fax mgalasso@rkpt.com Pro Hac Vice Application forthcoming: Laura E. Landenwich Clay Daniel Walton and Adams PLC 101 Meidinger Tower 462 South Fourth Street Louisville, Kentucky 40202 (502) 561-2005 | (502) 416-0768 fax laura@justiceky.com Counsel for Plaintiffs 02922587-2 9 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 10 of 49 PAGEID #: 10 EXHIBIT A * V * % % s * V 4 S >/ // V / s? V / \ It > >/ W ki'u V I 1» k M iv«i Hi »*V / V'/ \ vW Jps' wvi,(I tt -J '/ If w^J tlif l 02922587-2 02922587-2 10 10 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 11 of 49 PAGEID #: 11 EXHIBIT B Alex Pawlicki, Game of Dudes Exclusive, RIPT APPAREL https://www.riptapparel.com/ collections/game-of-dudes-exclusive (last visited Feb. 20, 2017). 02922587-2 11 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 12 of 49 PAGEID #: 12 Shirt The Big Lebowski Game of Thrones Brown, SERISHIRTS.COM https://www.serishirts.com/en/t-shirts-movies-tv-series-fans-cinema-movie/29176-shirt-the-big- lebowski-game-of-thrones-brown-3002917689956.html#/collar-classic/sleeve_serishirts- 1_short/size-xs/sexe-man/print_on_the_back_too-no/embroidered- no/profits_from_this_sell_will_go_to-help_childrens/color-like_the_picture/packaging- classic_envelope (last visited Feb. 20, 2017). 02922587-2 12 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 13 of 49 PAGEID #: 13 Mohammed Safari, Game of Dudes, REDBUBBLE https://www.redbubble.com/people/ mohammedsafari/works/16494473-game-of-dudes?p=t-shirt (last visited Feb. 27, 2017). 02922587-2 13 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 14 of 49 PAGEID #: 14 Big Lebowski Film T-shirt THE DUDE, STITCH DOG https://www.stitchdog.com/products/big- lebowski-film-t-shirt-the-dude (last visited Feb. 27, 2017). 02922587-2 14 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 15 of 49 PAGEID #: 15 Twe Terry, Funny Lebowski Dude Game of Thrones Men Cotton T-shirt XXX-Large DeepHeather, AMAZON FASHION https://www.amazon.com/Funny-Lebowski-Thrones-Cotton-T- shirt/dp/B01JVWRGW2 (last visited Feb. 27, 2017). 02922587-2 15 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 16 of 49 PAGEID #: 16 shirtposts shop create a shirt Dude of thrones 1 - 1 mrs* T v- a: a v V f i¥SJ by doesitmakesound 1 year ago OOOBB Doesitmakesound, Dude Doesitmakesound, Dude of of thrones, S HIRTPOSTS http://www.shirtposts.com/t/no3kd4 Shirtposts http://www.shirtposts.eom/t/no3kd4 (last visited Feb. 27, 2017). Feb. 02922587-2 02922587-2 16 16 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 17 of 49 PAGEID #: 17 Webintellics Inc. Customized Galaxy S6 Case's Shop Hard Case With Fashion Design The Big Lebowski Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone Case 8011423ZG698780382S7E, ULTIMUM VITAE http://ultimumvitae.com/Details/B01DZRKMHA/Customized-Galaxy-S6-Cases-Shop-Hard- Case-With-Fashion-Design-The-Big-Lebowski-Samsung-Galaxy-S7-Edg (last visited Feb. 27, 2017). 02922587-2 17 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 18 of 49 PAGEID #: 18 amazonde Our Electronics store: "* ^7 Try Prime Electronics & Photo ^ Q, Vast selection, great deals Shop by Department - YourAmazon.de Today's Deals Gift Cards ! Hello. Sign in Your Account Try Prime - Your Lists "V 0 a Shopping- Basket Electronics & Photo Promotions Best Sellers Smartphones & Phones TV & Video Audio Camera & Photo Navigation & Car HiFi Electronics & Photo > Mobile Phones & Communication > Accessories > Cases & Covers dude of thrones very cool big lebowski Have one to sell? Sell yours here poster iPhone 5 / 5S Hulle Cover « Case Add to Wish List | Be the first to review this item More about this product (£29 Share 0B*I0 Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock. & rm ".A TkYkl:S V' I I Technical Details • Hulle fur iPhone 5 5S High Gloss Phone Cover Case Photo Quality - Full Wrap Design • Durable & Lightweight The cases are not only visually stunning but are also highly practical and provide robust phone protection. Forged from high grade hard plastic, they are both durable and lightweight. • Like what you see - We also have this design on a range of other covers in our store • We Sell The Best Quality Phone Covers Available 3D Full Wrap Sides, High Gloss, Full Photo Quality Face Forged From High Grade Hard Plastic Slim-fit scratch resistant lightweight cases Patented photo print technology Provides robust phone protection This phone case is not a sticker or cheap metal printed insert Special Offers and Product Promotions • Wir haben fur Sie eine Liste mit Hersteller-Service-Informationen zusammengestellt,fiir den Fall, dass Probleme bei einem Produkt auftreten sollten, oder Sie weitere technlsche Informationen benotigen. Want to recycle your electrical or electronic appliance for free? (Do it here.) Product details Manufacturer reference: iPhone 5/5s ASIN: BOOQGIYZBO Date first available at Amazon.de: 2 Dec 2014 Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item Would you like to give feedback on images? Customer Questions & Answers Have a question? Ask the owners here. Ask the owners Typical questions asked about products: - Is the Item durable? - Is this Item easy to use? - What are the dimensions of this item? 02922587-2 02922587-2 18 18 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 19 of 49 PAGEID #: 19 iPhone 5/5s, Dude of Thrones Very Cool Big Legowski Poster iPhone 5/5S Hülle Cover Case, AMAZON https://www.amazon.de/thrones-lebowski-poster-iPhone- H%C3%BClle/dp/B00QGIYZB0? language=en_GB (last visited Feb. 27, 2017). 7AM, Apple Iphone Plus 5.5" Case-The Best 3d Full Wrap Iphone Case-Dude of Thrones Very Cool Big Lebowski Poster, AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Iphone-Plus-5-5- Case/dp/B00PU5G842/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1464104217&sr=8-4&keywords= dude+of+thrones (last visited Feb. 27, 2017). 02922587-2 19 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 20 of 49 PAGEID #: 20 7AM, Apple Iphone 6 4.7" Case-The Best 3d Full Wrap Iphone Case-Dude of Thrones Very Cool Big Lebowski Poster, AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Iphone-4-7-Case- Lebowski/dp/B00PJJRK50/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1464104217&sr=8- 11&keywords=dude+of+thrones (last visited Feb. 27, 2017). 02922587-2 20 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 21 of 49 PAGEID #: 21 A Secure https://teechip.eom/gameofdudes#id = O&c = 13131 3&sid = fr uit-of-the- loom-cotton-t&s = front Limited Edition - Selling Out Fast! Super limited run of tees are selling out fast! Hurry and get one now before they are gone forever! t Only available for a LIMITED TIME, so get yours TODAY! Printed right here in the U.S.A. If you buy 2 or more you will save on shipping! JT--! 'Satisfaction Guaranteed + Safe and Secure |k Checkout via PayPal/Visa/Mastercard' Click the Green Button below and select your size and style * from the drop-down menu and reserve yours before we sell out! Available products: Fruit of the Loom Tee - $22.99 USD Ot Buy it now This campaign ends in 9 23 26 54 DAYS HOURS MINUTES SECONDS Limited Edition-Selling Limited Edition-Selling Out Fast!, Fast!, TEECHIP .COM https://teechip.com/gameofdudes#id=0&c= TEECHIP.COM https://teechip.com/gameofdudes#id=0&c 131313&sid=fruit-of-the-loom-cotton-t&s=front 131313&sid=fruit-of-the-loom-cotton-t&s=front (last visited visited Feb. Feb. 27, 2017). 02922587-2 02922587-2 21 21 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 22 of 49 PAGEID #: 22 The Big Lebowski Game of Thrones iPhone 5/5s case, CASE GORILLA http://www5.casegorilla. com/pf_landing.asp?prod=B00H4ERC74&gclid=COuku9r4rdECFYK6wAodh3sIBA (last visited Feb. 28, 2017). 02922587-2 22 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 23 of 49 PAGEID #: 23 The Big Lebowski Game of Thrones iPhone 5c case, CASE GORILLA http://www5.casegorilla. com/pf_landing.asp?prod=B00IMNH7L2&gclid=CLX71O34rdECFQm1wAodvvkDHg (last visited Feb. 28, 2017). 02922587-2 23 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/07/17 Page: 24 of 49 PAGEID #: 24 Funny Lebowski Dude Game Of Thrones Zipper PU Leather Coin Wallet Purse Card Holder Party Mini Handbag, AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/Lebowski-Thrones-Zipper-Leather- Handbag/dp/B01MXI3XA9/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1483720579&sr=8- 7&keywords=dude+of+thrones (last visited Feb. 28, 2017). 02922587-2 24 Case: 1:17-cv-00749-TSB 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This Certificate issued under the seal of the Copyright ' Office in accordance with title 17, United States Code, ' A attests that registration has been made for the work. identified below. The information on this certificate has Registration Number H a. 'H 'fieen made a par of the Copyright Office records. . ' . *0 VA 2-016-306 s*: Effective Date of Registration: . 18 7 A- Q&cfe; f:, August 12, 2016 United States Register of Copyrights and Director Title. Title of Work; Duder of Thrones .. . ..: Title of Larger Work; Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art 2. Completion/Publication 7; Year of Completion: 2013 Date of 1st Publication: October 15, 2013 Nation of If Publication: United States International Standard Number,: ISBN 1781167516 Author _ •. Author: Brian J Methe Author t reated: - .' i > artwork " Citizen of: " United States Domiciled in: United States A Year Born: 1975; Copyright Claimant _ Copyright Claimant: Brian J Methe (>! lO.Elder Street, 61 lO.Elder Street, Cincinnati, OH, 45227, United States; Rights and Permissions, - Name: Brian Jason Methe:, ., Telephone: (6.14)746-7696, V /; Alt. Telephone:; (614)746-7696;; ' ' - Address:) 6110 Elder Street; -; . V '. ' Cincinnati, OH 45227 Umted States ' Certification Name: Brian J Methe Page 1 of 2 02922587-2 02922587-2 49 49